Orange Skipperling (Copaeodes aurantiacus [Hewitson])
Wing span: 3/4 - 1 1/8 inches (1.9 - 2.9 cm).
Identification: Both upper- and lowerside are orange. Upperside of male forewing has a narrow black stigma below the cell; female may have narrow black edging on the forewing.
Life history: Adults have a very rapid flight. To warm themselves, adults bask in the early morning, and males perch in gulches during the day to find receptive females.
Flight: Many broods from February-November in Texas; March-December in southern California; April-October in the north.
Caterpillar hosts: Various grasses (Poaceae) including Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), and green spangletop (Leptochloa dubia).
Adult food: Nectar from a variety of flowers
Habitat: Grasslands, grassy streamsides, fields, washes.
Range: Southern California, southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and west Texas south through Central America to Panama. Strays to eastern Texas, central Arkansas, central Kansas, and Colorado.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Bailowitz, R. A., and J. P. Brock. 1991. Butterflies of southeastern Arizona. Sonoran Arthropod Studies, Inc., Tucson, Arizona. 342 pages. Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann